The Ministry of Youth and Sports has said Bingu National Stadium requires at least K50 million for urgent maintenance works so that it gets approval from Confederation of African Football (Caf) to host international matches.
Principal Secretary for Sports Oliver Kumbambe disclosed this when he briefed Parliamentary Committee on Social and Community Affairs members on readiness of the stadium ahead of Caf re-inspection in two weeks.
“We are convinced that a lot of work has been done in a short period. The stadium is under intensive maintenance. We, as a ministry, are in talks with Treasury so that they provide funds so that the facility is maintained to meet Caf standards,” Kumbambe said.
According to the report from the ministry, the stadium requires K15 million for the the purchase of chairs for media room, dressing rooms and others rooms, K3.8 million for WI-FI (internet connection) and K3.5 million for the purchase of sound system.
A total of K6 million is required for the maintenance of the training pitch and K2.5 million for the purchase of teams and officials benches.
In addition, the ministry requires K1.5 million buying sets of five cubicles on media tribune and another K1.5 million for desks for various rooms.
The ministry also needs K1 million for the purchase of a fridge for doping and referee room. additional items that are needed at the stadium include television sets for doping rooms and a decoder for doping room.
Chairperson of the committee Saviel Kafwafwa appealed to the corporate world to bail out the facility ahead of Caf inspection in September.
“It is an urgent issue and it is difficult for government to adjust the budget; so, we cannot rely on government to fund the stadium in a space of four weeks. Let me appeal to companies and individuals to assist government so that the stadium can pass the test,” he added.
The facility requires an estimated K13 million per month for operations but it gets about K3 million per month from government.
However, BNS owes service providers an estimated K140 million.
Football Association of Malawi (Fam) General Secretary Alfred Gunda, who also attended the meeting, was optimistic that the facility would pass Caf test.
“We have come from far and there have been tremendous improvement on the condition of the pitch,” he said.
Caf fined Fam $6,000 (about K4.9 million) for hosting Uganda at Kamuzu Stadium during the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers in March this year, which the Flames won 1-0 to book a ticket to the Afcon finals.
The Flames will face Cameroon in World Cup qualifiers on Friday before hosting Mozambique four days later at Orlando Stadium in South Africa after Caf banned BNS from hosting international matches due to its condition.